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CAG castigates Delhi Govt over Yamuna river pollution

NEW DELHI, APRIL 7: Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has castigated the Delhi Government for its `tardiness' in executing the management of sewage treatment resulting in severe pollution of the river Yamuna.

"The water quality of river Yamuna continues to be polluted by domestic sewage and industrial effluents from Delhi while the water quality at the point where the river enters Delhi is of acceptable quality. Pollution load from Delhi renders it severely polluted downstream," the CAG said in its report.

The report for the year ended March 1999 said despite measures, the pollution level of Yamuna has increased two-folds between 1982 to 1998.

The management of sewage treatment by city government through executing agency Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has been "tardy". During the seven years 1992-99, the government has been able to increase the sewage treatment by only 112 Million Litre Per Day (MLD)," the report said.

Of the total estimated quantity of 2,852 MLD sewage generated in Delhi, the government is able to treat only 886 MLD, leaving 1,966 MLD of untreated sewage being discharged in the river causing serious pollution to the water.

Due to mismatch of the Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and sewage interception, large capacity of STPs remained un-utilised, while in other areas untreated sewage was discharged in the river.

Even the STPs constructed were not being utilised optimally due to "failure" of the Delhi Government to ensure completion of attendant sewerage lines and proper interception and diversion, the CAG said.

"In one of the STPs sample checks, the sewage even after treatment was found to be grossly polluted," it said.

Industrial pollution also remains to be tackled, the CAG said adding 348 out of 428 grossly polluting industries had not put up effluent treatment plants and in addition, construction of none of the 15 common effluent treatment plants to tackle the pollution from other polluting industrial units has been taken up.

Observing that "Delhi continues to pollute the river seriously", it said the main objective of the programme implemented by the city government from their own resources and also under Ganga Action Plan was to reduce the pollution level in rivers to make them suitable for bathing.

The present water quality in stretch of river between Wazirabad and Okhla Barriage is of `E' category that is, suitable for irrigation and industrial cooling only against required category of `B' which is suitable for bathing.

The reasons for excessive water pollution can be attributed to underestimation of the quantum of sewage by the DJB, improper maintenance of the sewers leading to under utilisation of STPs, lackadaisical and slow pace of construction of STPs and overall deficient planning to address a problem that is threatening to assume serious consequences for Delhiites and ultimately for the water quality of Ganga.

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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